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After successful shows in New York, Miami, Chicago and Los Angeles, HPP Exhibitions recently decided to move the next edition of the World Floral Expo to Las Vegas. The three-day show will meet March 22-24 near downtown Las Vegas at the World Market Center in Pavilion 2, according to a news release. “The USA is big and this requires the industry to move around the country,” said HPP’s president Dick van Raamsdonk in the release. “Only then... Read more
MINNEAPOLIS — In July 2015, Spanish florist Antonio Vicent decided to follow his lifelong dream of traveling the world and to also film a global documentary on the blending of cultures and floral customs. So — much to the surprise of his friends and family — after 25 years in the flower business, he closed his flower shop in Alicante, Spain, sold his car, collected his life savings, packed his four cameras, audiovisual equipment, and his backpack... Read more
The 35th edition of the international floriculture/horticulture trade fair IPM Essen will take place Jan. 24-27 in Messe Essen, Germany, with around 1,600 exhibitors from 50 countries displaying their flowers, plants, technology and garden products. Show organizers project that over 68,000 different plant breeds will be exhibited, many of them being world premieres, according to a news release. National participation booths from all over the world will jointly... Read more
The only constant is change. The flower business is not an exception. Indeed, it is the very definition of fluidity and adaptation. The constant struggle to find the appropriate balance of supply and demand in a global market, combined with the rise and fall of costs that are influenced by an unimaginably large number of direct and indirect factors makes for this dynamic beast that we call the flower industry. On the transportation side, airlines and truckers are... Read more
FTD Cos. Inc. announced in a news release that Stephen Tucker has been appointed FTD’s executive vice president and chief financial officer. He succeeds Becky A. Sheehan, who left the company Dec. 31 to pursue other opportunities. Christopher W. Shean, FTD’s interim president and chief executive officer, said in the release, “On behalf of our board and management team, I am excited to welcome Stephen to FTD. He has strong strategic financial and... Read more
The Pantone Color of the Year selection is Greenery, a yellow-green shade that “bursts forth in 2017 to provide us with the reassurance we yearn for amid a tumultuous social and political environment,” Leatrice Eiserman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, said in a news release. “Satisfying our growing desire to rejuvenate and revitalize, Greenery symbolizes the reconnection we seek with nature, one another and a larger purpose.” Of... Read more
As 2017 unfolds, trends in the floral and gift industry will slowly begin to reflect the ever-changing and unpredictable political and social climate. More than ever, consumers want to feel safe and surround themselves with an atmosphere of familiarity and soothing tones. Creating an environment that reflects a sense of calm will continue to be a huge trend this year. Soothing grays have replaced warm neutrals, gently cooling off bright and traditionally warm palettes... Read more
In September 2015, I took over as president of Greenleaf Wholesale. Greenleaf was struggling financially and operationally and because I had spent most of my career at Greenleaf before becoming president at Kitayama Bros., I believed I could hit the ground running and help quickly correct its course. In hindsight, it probably was best that I didn’t know how bad of shape Greenleaf was in. There were those who believed that Greenleaf couldn’t be saved.... Read more
At last count there are 13 trends, not involving color, which will most likely affect new container looks for 2017. Trend-forward suppliers will start with nostalgic heart prints for Valentine’s Day, and follow with a wide array of new ideas ranging from intricate designs to faceted finishes. Which ones stick and become the new normal is anyone’s guess. The real question is, does it really matter? In 2016 it was reported that more consumers are buying... Read more
Many talk and write about trends and trending but what exactly is a trend? A trend is a general direction that is being followed and it has a three to five-year lifespan, whereas a fad is anything shorter than that. In sales and merchandising, showcasing trends is an aid to upselling or to simply selling more product. Trends can fade but they often become classics, which is anything that lasts longer than 10 years. For example, when sunflowers arrived on the commercial... Read more
The newest 2017 ornamental trends can be found Jan. 18-20 at the Tropical Plant Industry Exhibition in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Over 400 exhibitors will display a diverse collection of tropical plants, foliage, novelties and related products, according to a news release. New trends will be presented in three categories — the New Plants and Products Showcase, the TPIE Cool Product Awards, and the Exhibitor Showcase. People can meet and learn from industry thought... Read more
Eight years ago, the United States saw bank collapses, a Wall Street meltdown and the world economy plunged into crisis. In 2017, we delve into the political unknown and head into uncharted territory for the U.S. Some applaud, others mock, but it’s clear there is at least one silver lining — the boost we’ve already seen to the U.S. economy and consumer spending. Florida’s nursery and landscape industry is prospering. We’ve seen growth... Read more
Cautious optimism. Those two words sum up the balanced perspective of things to come for American flower farmers in 2017. On the one hand, flower farmers in California are facing significant increases in labor costs due to the increase in the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour over the next four years. It’s safe to assume that California’s flower farmers will continue to face increasing costs and regulation during the final years of Gov. Jerry... Read more
The Produce Marketing Association and the Food Marketing Institute released new research in November benchmarking the mass-market floral retail business in a report titled “Trends in Mass-Market Floral.” In this exclusive interview with The Produce News, Becky Roberts, PMA’s director of floral, and Rick Stein, FMI’s vice president of fresh foods, discuss what the findings mean for the mass-market floral supply chain. The Produce News: Why... Read more
A new year is unfolding, much like a flower with petals tightly curled, concealing the beauty within. It’s another year of floral opportunities, the significance of which was highlighted for me during a recent visit with Antonio Vicent, a Spanish florist who is following his passion on a worldwide travel floral adventure. Antonio reminded me again about the heart of the floral industry, that “the flower is the messenger of a feeling.” So if the... Read more
Valentine’s Day forecast — the perfect storm?
Attempting to forecast Valentine’s Day flower sales is a process of studying all of the available data and then, as my Army drill instructor used to say, “simply making a scientific wild (bleep) guess.” However, some industry professionals say there is one factor that really affects holiday sales and that is the day of the week that Valentine’s Day lands on. Berne Llewellyn, floral buyer at Whole Foods for the Florida region, told The Produce... Read more
Valentine’s Day Florida greens forecast
Since early October when Hurricane Matthew delivered a devastating blow to Florida’s growers of cut foliage, there’s been concern about the greens supply for Valentine’s Day. I recently conducted a phone interview with Jana Register, director of sales and marketing at FernTrust Inc. in Seville, FL, a cooperative of central Florida growers supplying cut foliage to the wholesale market and to bouquet companies, to discuss hurricane recovery and the... Read more
FTD Cos. Inc., a floral and gift company, announced in a news release dated Nov. 4 that Christopher W. Shean, one of the company’s directors since December 2014, has been appointed interim president and chief executive officer, effective immediately. Shean succeeds Robert S. Apatoff, who has stepped down from these positions and from FTD’s board of directors. Apatoff will continue in a transitional advisory role to the company through Dec. 31, 2016. “I... Read more
Texas-based grocery retailer H-E-B has expanded its floral business by opening a state-of-the-art floral design studio, H-E-B Blooms Design Studio, in Houston Nov. 2, according to a news release. The studio consists of more than 14,000 square feet of refrigerated design space. “H-E-B is excited to expand its customer offerings and set the new standard in the Houston market when it comes to flowers,” said Erin Esensee, H-E-B Blooms senior manager of... Read more
The Florida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Association will host the 2017 Tropical Plant Industry Exhibition Jan. 18-20 at the Broward County Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale, FL. The three-day national event, which is held annually, showcases the latest trends in floral, foliage and tropicals in a virtual living indoor garden that covers 200,000 square feet. With more than 400 exhibiting companies in over 800 booth spaces, TPIE offers buyers a wide array of... Read more